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Australian social media users put Facebook first and LinkedIn and Twitter far, far behind

sensis_social_media_report_coverConsumer usage of social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn is vastly outstripped by Facebook, newly released research for Sensis and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association suggests. A second part of the study signals that Australian businesses are preparing to pile into social media in the coming 12 months.

The consumer part of the research was based on a telephone survey of 803 people carried out in the first three months of 2011 and weighted to reflect the demographics of the Australian population.

It found that 62% of them said they used social media which the survey defined as including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, blogs and group buying sites.

And of those 62%, Facebook dwarfed all other social media usage. A total of 97% of the social media users said they used Facebook.

Slightly more make use of LinkedIn than Facebook, the report said.  

After Facebook, came LinkedIn with 9%, followed by Twitter on 8% and MySpace on just 4%.

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However, Twitter users are the most loyal to the site, saying that they used it on average 23 times per week – just ahead of Facebook on 16. 2times per week.

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Another finding is that on average, social media users estimate they have 217 friends, followers or contacts.

sensis_followersOn average, those Twitter users surveyed follow just 35 people each. (However, the sample size for this was just 38 Twitter users, stretching the statistical reliability of the data.)

sensis_twitter_followsThe survey also suggested that brands are missing out on opportunities to connect via Twitter. A total of 64% of the Twitter users said they did not follow any brands at all.

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Meanwhile among users of group buying sites, Cudo was by some way the most popular. (The base for this was 49 respondents, so again the detailed statistics should be treated with some caution).

sensis_group_buyingA second part of the study – based on interviews carried out with business people in January and February for the Sensis Business Index – quizzed Australian businesses on their social media strategies.

The study indicated that Facebook is the most popular social media presence.

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And the report also examines what brands are spending on their social media presence.

On average, large companies said they were spending just under $80,o00 a year on social media marketing. Medium sized companeis averaged $6,500 and small companies just over $2,000.

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For most companies, the proportion of marketing spend shifting to social media is still relatively small though.

However, most companies – small and large – see the next 12 months as a period where they will increase their spending on social media. And they anticipate that the effort will result in increased sales.

The full report is available in PDF format via this link

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